At the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Smart Cities Summit, the Board officially launched its multi-year Smart Cities Initiative, held in partnership with the City of Toronto.
The Board’s Smart Cities Working Group will continue to work with the City of Toronto to develop an asset map highlighting Smart City companies, define a roadmap of Smart Cities priorities, develop an inventory of the City’s divisional “smart assets”, and establish a collaborative forum to leverage Smart Cities events. The goal is to more effectively raise awareness of both local and international smart city developments and define Toronto’s vision as a smart city.
“If we want to continue to be a centre of innovation, if we want to continue to attract and keep the best and the brightest, and if we want to have modern efficient government we have to put a big push on smart city initiatives,” said Mayor John Tory, who has expressed his support of Toronto’s tech community in the past. “That means using technology to improve the way we serve people and conduct our business as a municipal government. It means learning from the data we have and measuring the work we do. But it also means committing to a bold vision of Toronto as a place that collaborates, that innovates, and that uses modern tools and approaches.”
At the Smart Cities Summit, more than 200 people listened to panel discussions, speeches, and participated in interactive breakout sessions. Issues addressed include infrastructure resiliency; energy, water and transportation infrastructure; health and well-being; talent and employment; urban planning and design; and culture and entertainment.
“Toronto is a global city with absolutely fantastic assets,” said Mark Kleinman, Director of Economic and Business Policy for the Mayor of London, UK. “It is a magnet for talent, successful at integrating newcomers, has a good record on equity and sustainability, and is home to a strong financial services cluster. What Toronto needs is the shared narrative to go along with its assets and for all partners to tell the story.”